Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
- The Athletic’s Max Bultman wrote an article discussing Michael Rasmussen’s promotion from the “taxi squad” to the Red Wings’ roster, discussing Rasmussen’s literal, figurative and statistical value to the team:
“Him and I talked about grabbing (this opportunity),” [coach Jeff] Blashill said Tuesday morning, after calling Rasmussen’s Monday performance solid. “He can’t play afraid to make a mistake. He’s got to go out there and do what he thinks is right, and we’ll coach him when he gets back to the bench, and coach him after games, and do those type of things. But he’s gotta go out there and play with confidence, and be ready to grab it.”
One thing that shouldn’t be lost here, though: As much as Rasmussen is the one responsible for proving he’s ready to play on a more prolonged basis in Detroit, the Red Wings would benefit just as much as him if he does so.
Their depth at center is still relatively weak behind Larkin, and Rasmussen, while green, still has the potential to give the Red Wings a unique presence in the middle of the ice and down low with his physicality.
“He’s an interesting player,” [Bobby] Ryan said Monday night. “He can kind of command the middle of the ice and then kick it wide. Really, really good in a lot of areas.”
Bultman continues (paywall);
2. MLive’s Ansar Khan offers a 3-topic notebook via a subscriber-only article, noting that the Red Wings’ new additions and new lines have given the team a refreshed outlook:
The Red Wings too often last season were deflated after allowing a goal, which led to multiple goals in a short stretch for the opposition. In their two wins, they have shown the ability to respond more favorably.
Coach Jeff Blashill credited much of that to the veteran acquisitions (forwards Bobby Ryan and Vladislav Namestnikov and defensemen Marc Staal, Troy Stecher and Jon Merrill).
“I think the fresh faces have helped calm our bench down a little bit,” Blashill said. “We don’t seem to be nearly as excitable as we’ve been. Some of that is growth in guys that have returned, fresh faces not necessarily wearing the previous years’ losses or struggles. We try to be as even-keel as we can, and our guys do a good job of that. Nothing has bothered us so far, we just kept playing.”
Larkin credited the team’s process and poise.
“We want the puck, as opposed to last year, (when) you’d look up and there’s five backs to you, no one is facing the puck, no one wants it, no one is talking,” Larkin said. “The new additions on the back end are yelling, screaming for the puck, they want it on their stick, they want to make plays. They’re there to support you. It helps so much getting the puck out of our own zone and then we can go play offense.”
Khan also continues (paywall);
3. The Free Press’s Helene St. James penned an article about last night’s win vs. Columbus, offering some telling quotes…
Bobby Ryan is making general manager Steve Yzerman look like an early candidate for making the best low-key offseason signing, having scored four goals in three games. Fellow new forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Mathias Brome have looked good, too, making plays with the puck and keeping possession even when time and space has been limited. Troy Stecher, Marc Staal and Jon Merrill, and the return of Danny DeKeyser, have stabilized the back end.
“Bobby has done an unreal job,” Tyler Bertuzzi said. “Stetch and Staal and Merrill on the back end, they’ve been a big impact on our d-corps, and having DK back. Vladdy and Bromer — everyone is buying into the system and doing it the right way. They are all great guys and they’re fitting in perfect with us. We are feeling good. We have a really good team this year and if we can play like that and keep doing the right things, we will get rewarded with these one-goal wins.”
New goaltender Thomas Greiss and Jonathan Bernier have provided the saves needed to keep games close.
“The fresh faces have helped calm our bench down a little bit,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We don’t seem to be nearly as excitable as we’ve been — is that growth in some of our guys that have returned? Probably. Is that having a lot of guys, new fresh faces, and not necessarily wearing the previous year’s losses or struggles? Probably. We just keep playing and that’s the approach I like. Nothing has bothered us.”
St. James also continues (no paywall here)….
4. And finally, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan states the obvious over the course of a set of power rankings:
Previous ranking: 31
The Red Wings already look improved this season. Bobby Ryan is one of the veterans whom GM Steve Yzerman brought in to help change the culture, and Ryan is already leading by example with four goals in his first three games.